New York for the Holidays; What to See, Eat and Where to Sleep

COVID-19 SAFETY: Please be advised that most places in NYC require proof of vaccination and/or negative Covid-19 test for admittance and Masks are required

It's that time of year when the whole world gets in on the holiday spirit. This New York Holiday will guide you through everything from what to see, where to eat, and what to do in this amazing city. The holidays are a great time for getting out there and exploring your surroundings with friends or family so be sure not miss out!

One of the best places to start is Times Square, which has become one of the most iconic symbols of all things festive. Millions flock here every day during December so it can get crowded pretty fast but if you head over early then it’s possible just barely avoid any queues at the popular attractions like One Times Square (home of NYE ball drop) or TKTS booth selling half price tickets to Broadway and off-Broadway shows.

If you’re looking for more laidback festive fun, try heading out on a boat ride along the waterways of Manhattan – it's really something special! There are plenty of sightseeing cruises available so if its cold or even bitterly cold then they can be great as there is always heat inside (and usually some hot chocolate). If your budget allows, treat yourself with some drinks at their sundeck area where you'll enjoy panoramic views of Times Square and other world-famous sights that may not otherwise been seen from street level.

New York for the Holidays; What to See, Eat and Where to Sleep 1
TomikaTalks | Life in Pumps

For those who like unique experiences this time around why not check out how New York does ice skating? The Bryant Park offers visitors free skate lessons by a professional ice skating team, and it’s not just for children either. The rink is open from early December to mid-March which means you can enjoy the snowflakes falling around you while having fun on the ice!

New York for the Holidays; What to See, Eat and Where to Sleep 2
TomikaTalks | Life in Pumps

If holiday shopping is your thing then New York has plenty of options when it comes to shopping destinations! One of the most popular areas in recent years was Herald Square located between Broadway and Sixth Avenue along 34th Street where Macy's flagship store (which over 100 regular floors) stands tall at one end with an enormous Christmas display that begins sometime after Thanksgiving Day. You'll also find incredible deals here during Black Friday sales so be sure check out this place if your budget allows as its hard not to return home feeling like a holiday hero!

If you’re looking for a bit of shopping that is more upscale then the Upper East Side on Madison Avenue is definitely your place. With some of New York's most expensive boutiques and department stores located here, it has become one of the go-to destinations during the season where visitors are often seen carrying bags from brands like Gucci or Prada among many others.

New York for the Holidays; What to See, Eat and Where to Sleep 3
TomikaTalks | Life in Pumps

There are also plenty to see in Midtown Manhattan including Rockefeller Center which is home to not only ice skating rink, NBC Studios (where The Today Show is filmed) but the infamous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree as well as Radio City Music Hall home of the world-famous Rockettes and the Christmas Spectacular show that runs until early January each year. Another popular destination here includes St Patrick's Cathedral – an iconic Roman Catholic Church built in 1879 and has since become a popular tourist attraction.

Around the Christmas season you'll also find plenty of markets especially in Greenwich Village and Little Italy, selling festive items such as ornaments, decorations and other holiday essentials scattered around city so be sure to explore them! The best thing about these places is that they’re usually free to enter (unless there's an additional feature like ice skating) which means its all-round good value for money! You can even choose from anything ranging from small stalls to larger outdoor fairs depending on your preference.

Big Apple or New York City, has a lot in store for tourists looking for a good time on their holiday. Read on for a sample itinerary to experience the best restaurants, hang out places and sightseeing locations that will make you come back again for more.

Where to Eat

Start your Day with Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Standing tall and still going strong since 1940, Tiffany & Co. can be found at 57th Street in Manhattan, right at the corner of Fifth Avenue. You will love to be a part of the lively crowd that Tiffany Blue café draws since its inception in 2018.

Make your New York holiday a Filling One

You will never find a better place to dine in than NYC. Here, you can choose from the widest range of locally sourced and seasonal cuisine. Be prepared to see vegetables growing on the roof gardens of some leading restaurant in the city of dreams. Foodies will love to know that there are 75 Michelin-starred restaurants in the city, enough to leave them with a big plate full of memories.

From coffee roasting to cheese or chocolate making, NYC boasts of many culinary delights. You may want to add Africa Kine, Hudson Smokehouse, Bánh Vietnamese Shop House, Sushi Noz, Blue Willow, Ruta Oaxaca Mexican Cuisine, Golden Palace Gourmet to the long list of places to eat in New York on your next holiday.

Up to 50% off New York City Christmas tours and activities

What to See

Central Park beckons with a nice walking track

Central Park, with its sprawling 843 acres, ranks high on the list of America's most-visited parks. Conceptualized and designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted in 1858, Central Park is an important historical landmark with plentiful places to explore. Your checklist while walking around should include the Bethesda Fountain, its zoo, Woolman Rink and the mall. You may want to time this walk along with a visit to the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art or Guggenheim Museum.

Winter Lantern Festival – Staten Island

While it is not located directly in the city, it is worth a quick train ride to enjoy. The Winter Lantern Festival is the perfect place to get away from it all. Visitors will experience mesmerizing live performances, massive lantern sculptures and interactive light-up displays that are sure not only entertain but also educate kids on the wonders of nature while they enjoy hot beverages with their favorite foods or listen in awe at DJ music playing throughout Snug Harbor Botanical Garden's gardens!

Holiday Shopping Markets

The many holiday markets in New York City take it to the next level with handmade goods for everyone. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and brave cold weather so you can find what's on your list at these three large outdoor markets! Union Square Holiday Market (November 18–December 24), Holiday Shops at Winter Village at Bryant Park and Columbus Circle Holiday Market (November 27–December 24).

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

Model train enthusiasts will be blown away when they visit the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and see model trains that have been placed inside a detailed landscape of New York City, all made entirely out plant parts! The Statue of Liberty is just one example; there are also models for Brooklyn Bridge or Rockefeller Center among others landmarks found in this enormous indoor park

The breathtaking sight provides hours worth exploring without having to go outside at all- which might sound like an impossible request during these cold winter months but don't worry because visitors can take their time getting lost navigating between different settings wherever they please while still being able enjoy everything on display from both close up views as well

Enjoy the festival of color at the Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo’s sparkling seasonal celebration featuring animated lights and LED displays of animals from around the world is back this year. Expect to see up-close animal lanterns that are interactive, including one all new walrus! Some other highlights include a Forest of Color with 21 larger than life creatures representing snails, turtles sunbirds butterflies etc. Entertainment will include holiday-themed music, ice carvings, costumed characters, stilt walkers, a holiday train, a wildlife theater, souvenirs and seasonal treats. 

Artifacts and exhibits galore at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The world-famous Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, is undoubtedly the biggest art museum in the USA. The “Met” contains an impressive collection of over two million works spread across 17 curatorial departments. Don’t miss the medieval armour exhibited on the first floor.

New York for the Holidays; What to See, Eat and Where to Sleep 4
TomikaTalks | Life in Pumps

Experience the Theater

New York City is the home of Broadway, where you can catch a show on almost any night. The holidays are no different and the variety is even better. Check out the listings but don't limit yourself to just Broadway. I can never get enough of the Lion King and this year I am eyeing “Twas the Night Before” at Madison Square Garden

The electrifying energy of Broadway & Times Square

If there is one singular place that defines the Big America Dream, it is Broadway in NYC. Its sizzling lights and dreamland like effects have seen betrayal, romance and murder unfolding like no other. Situated between 40th St to 54th St, this landmark lies between Sixth and Eighth Aves – a must visit indeed!

You can’t miss the Statue of Liberty

Ever since it was inaugurated in 1886, millions of immigrants sailing into NYC harbour in search of a better life have been welcomed by Lady Liberty. The towering statue of Liberty was unveiled in 1886 and is a major sightseeing attraction for holidaymakers.

The Brooklyn Bridge – standing tall on the horizons of New York

The first steel suspension bridge in the world, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge was open to the public in 1883. About 1596 feet long, it flaunts neo-Gothic towers that have made their mark as city emblems. You will get many photo opportunities at the Bridge’s crossing but be careful of the strong wind as you take your selfies. The exhilarating journey will blow you away in more ways than one as you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the East River, Manhattan, and the waterfront.

Ellis Island – go back in history at US’s most popular harbour

When you find yourself at Ellis Island, New York Harbor, you can be a part of history at the nation’s most moving museums. The museum on Ellis Island pays a befitting tribute to the undying valour and courage of over 12 million immigrants. They stopped by at the processing station in the period 1892 to 1924 after completing long, tedious journeys.

One World Observatory – dazzling views of Manhattan's skyscrapers

Last but not the least, take a ride to the One World Observatory that spans three levels on top of the highest building in the Western Hemisphere. If you are lucky to be there on a clear day, watch out for the parts and boroughs of five surrounding states. You can also view the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and numerous other landmarks of New York City.

Hudson Yards– More than a New York Neighborhood

Home to more than 100 diverse shops and culinary experiences, 14 acres of public plazas, gardens and groves. You can take the City Climb and come face-to-face with the city's skyline. It’s an adventure unlike any other in the world and an achievement that you will remember for the rest of your life.

Where to Stay

I get asked this question often as a frequent traveler to the city and there really is not one right answer. You have to decide what your needs are. I have included a few of my favorites and those that have been recommended.

New York for the Holidays; What to See, Eat and Where to Sleep 5
TomikaTalks | Life in Pumps

Embassy Suites by Hilton New York Manhattan Times Square

The hotel is the perfect location for tourists who want to experience New York. It's surrounded by shops and sights, with stunning skyline views that are only rivaled by Times Square! You can even walk there – just half a mile away from our building at Grand Central Terminal or Penn Station; which will get you closer than most other places in midtown Manhattan without breaking your wallet too much (pun intended).

New York Hilton Midtown 

Stay close to the heart of New York City at this hotel, just off Fifth Avenue and two blocks from Radio City Music Hall. It's an escape with its spacious rooms that overlook Central Park or one block away from The Museum Of Modern Arts where there is also a concept restaurant focusing on seasonal ingredients while staying in style all year long!

Millennium Hotel Broadway Times Square

Step into the heart of New York City to experience our 4-star family friendly, Millennium Hotel. You’ll be surrounded by all that life has to offer at your doorstep in Midtown Manhattan–but with an unbeatable location near Broadway and Times Square!

New York for the Holidays; What to See, Eat and Where to Sleep 6
TomikaTalks | Life in Pumps

Even Hotel

Choose from Time Square or Midtown East. Even Hotels help you stay on track and feel rejuvenated with their variety of services. Whether it’s a short stopover or longer stay, the hotel's offerings will provide for all your needs as well as giving inspiration to accomplish more!

Margaritaville Resort Time Square

New for 2021, a unique and new concept in NYC – a beach themed resort with an outdoor heated swimming pool, views of the iconic New Year’s Eve Ball, and more! The 4th floor bar at The LandShark hotel has everything you need to make your stay as relaxing or active as desired.

Moxy Time Square

An affordable option for travelers who want to enjoy the luxury of a hotel without compromising on style or comfort. 612 bedrooms are cleverly designed by Yabu Pushelberg, so that they can adapt their rooms according to modern traveler’s changing needs with large variety in room types including oversized walk-in showers too!

Have a rocking holiday in New York

So there you have it – everything you need for this New York Holiday in one handy blog post! Whether visiting friends & family or travelling solo here are some great things to see, eat and do when out exploring New York during the Christmas season!

Whether you are travelling to New York for work or pleasure, there is a lot for you to see, do and eat in NYC. Get your tickets and accommodation in order and wait for the magic to unfold in New York City.

Happy holidays!

Welcome to my home on the web... I’m Tomika, the thought leader behind Life in Pumps. I love all things fashion, fun & travel! I’m a wife and mother of two very active teenagers. I'm a social butterfly and passionate about advocating for breast cancer disparities and the benefits of organics. Follow along as I believe life is more fun when you actually live it!

Travel Deals

Let's Shop

Daily Boutique Deals